Is there good news for the environment?

Climate change, greenhouse gases, ecological footprint, thaw, extinction of species … are some issues that today make headlines in newspapers. In general, they do it to give us bad news about the damage we are doing to the environment. But we don’t do everything so badly.

There is still good news for the environment because we are not resigned to losing the only planet we have. The fight is not easy, the fight is not for everyone, but it is a fight for a few for all. Or not so few, because more and more awareness is being created about the importance of caring for the environment.

Good news for the environment from 2018

During the last UN climate summit (COP24, Katowice, Poland), the consensus was not as much as wanted. Nevertheless, the Paris Agreement was not weakened, as the signatory countries maintained their commitment in the fight against global warming. Although the urgencies shown by different countries were not the same, agreements were reached on rules and transparency mechanisms to be used.

It should be remembered that the Paris Agreement will replace the Kyoto Protocol as of 2020. This means that the agreements reached will govern the fight against climate change in the next decade. The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, considers that the Paris Agreement continues to be “the roadmap for climate action”.

Goodbye to disposable plastics

Another good news for the environment was the ban on the use of disposable plastics from 2021. The political agreement reached by the European Union falls on plastic straws, plates, cups and cutlery, oxodegradable bags, cotton buds and food packaging. They point out that these products represent about 70% of the waste that pollutes European coasts and waters.

Furthermore, Member States are urged to promote more recycling. Some specific measures are also related to plastic bottles and fishing gear. The damage that this waste causes to the environment is estimated at 3.4 million tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

Good news for the environment in 2019

Green, that I love you … greener

The first months of this year surprised us with good news for the environment. NASA released the results of a study showing that the Earth is greener than 20 years ago. We owe this fact to two emerging countries: China and India, which have adopted programs for the massive planting of trees. Furthermore, they have not increased the area of ​​land used for crops, as they have replaced their traditional methods with intensive forms.

The studies carried out by NASA together with the initiatives of these countries will allow more accurate predictions to be made to make future decisions. Although the loss of areas of natural vegetation continues in tropical areas such as Brazil and Indonesia, these results provide hope for their recovery.

New hope for coral reefs

There is also good news for the environment related to another of the big affected: coral reefs. These large living organisms have been among the most damaged by climate change. But a new “view” of their condition allows hope for recovery by identifying reversible intermediate disease states. It is supported by researcher Kendra Karr, from the Foundation for the Defense of the Environment. Proposes that coral reefs should be viewed as an ecosystem in order to determine their health status.

To reach this conclusion, in addition to the coral species, the species of algae, fish and other associated marine organisms were considered. The results of the study can be used by fisheries and other scientists to understand the disease stages of a coral reef. Karr also noted that many reefs globally are recovering and others may recover. This is also reported in the annual report of The Natural Conservancy for the year 2018.

The advance of renewable energies in the poorest countries

Poor countries like Kenya, Nicaragua, Uganda, Nepal or Bangladesh are betting on their energy “empowerment” with the use of renewable energy. They represent lower production costs than fossil fuels and without their drawbacks. But to achieve this they had to overcome all series of obstacles in order to access sources of financing.

An interesting example is that of Nicaragua, where the organization of civil society allowed the transparent use of resources granted by the Climate Investment Fund. This program brought clean energy solutions to rural areas of the country. During the execution of the project the government tried to divert money for the geothermal energy development program. However, civil society raised its voice by obtaining the support of the foundation so that the resources were used according to the original allocation. This is another piece of good news for the environment.

Good news for the environment in the future

#Trashtag, using social networks in favor of the environment

Social networks have been, for some years now, a way of connecting the world in favor of a certain cause. The advantage they have is that they can spread any campaign in a very short time. That is what has happened with the global challenge that has gone viral through the hashtag #Trashtag. The challenge is to publish a photo of some place – forest, beach, city – in its current state. After cleaning, a new photo is uploaded in order to create awareness of the amount of garbage that we often do not see.

Greta Thunberg and her #ClimateStrike

And it seems that the good news for the environment will continue, as young people have begun to demonstrate. Recently, thousands of young people around the world, summoned by the Swedish Greta Thunberg, protested to create greater awareness among the new generations. The movement called #ClimateStrike seems to be here to stay.

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